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Not good for Schilling’s gander

Friday, Aug 31, 2012

* A DCCC campaign tracker showed up at a public event held by Republican Congressman Bobby Schilling on August 25th. A police officer was stationed outside the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce Auditorium and informed the tracker that he wouldn’t allowed to film inside. The event was not political, it was “an educational forum” on veterans’ issues. Attendees

Congressman Bobby Schilling, Mr. Duane Honeycutt, Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Chicago (VARO), Ms. Dawn Oxley, Acting Director of the Iowa City VA Health Care System, Ms. Jean Swiderski, TRICARE, and Mayors David Blanton and Skip Lee

* The tracker tried to argue his case, but to no avail. The police officer cited “federal regulations” as the reason. Watch

I’m not a huge fan of trackers, but they’re a fact of life and congressmen shouldn’t be stomping on the 1st Amendment.

This is especially ironic when you consider that an infamous tracker video of Democrat incumbent Phil Hare helped Schilling defeat the incumbent. Hare was hosting an official public forum on health care reform when he was approached by tea partiers.

“We just provided the hall here,” said an official at the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce Auditorium when I called this afternoon. “We weren’t even here for it.” The official did say that the flier for the event included a statement prohibiting video cameras, but she didn’t know why.

I suppose you could say that Schilling learned from Hare’s mistake. But you could also say that Schilling is being pretty darned hypocritical here.

* Meanwhile, earlier this week, Republican congressional candidate Jason Plummer sent an e-mail to his supporters asking for cash to put gas in his tank…

Help Fuel My Truck!

Hey Team,

Today I started my District-wide truck tour. Over the next few days, I am going to be visiting communities within every county of our District!

As you all know, poor public policy has destroyed Southern Illinois’ economy. This truck tour will give me another chance to hear issues affecting the people of Southern Illinois first-hand.

This race is not about Washington, D.C. talking points; it is about who will represent the people of Southern Illinois best in Washington, D.C.

This morning I stopped in Ava, DeSoto, Royalton, Zeigler, Oraville, and Mount Vernon, but I need your help to reach voters across the entire District.

Will you donate $10, $20, or $50 to help me fill up my truck and continue my journey through the District?

Any amount helps me continue to gain
insight into the issues affecting residents of the 12th District.

I can’t do this without your help.

Please contribute today!

Sincerely,

Jason Plummer
12th Congressional District Nominee

* The Democratic response…

In response to an out of touch email from inherited multi-millionaire Jason Plummer, President of the Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Totsie Bailey challenged Plummer to disclose his tax returns before asking working people for gas money to “fill up his truck.” Bailey criticized Plummer for asking folks to “chip in for gas money” when Southern Illinois families are hurting and trying to stretch every dollar to make ends meet, but Plummer won’t even have an honest conversation about his finances or how much he stands to gain from a tax plan that could help him pocket nearly $1 million in tax breaks.

President of the Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Totsie Bailey said:

“First inherited multi-millionaire Jason Plummer won’t disclose his finances with voters even though he could be taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax breaks and now he wants us to cover his gas? Inherited Multi-millionaire Jason Plummer has never had a real job and doesn’t know a thing about working for a living. It’s outrageous inherited multi-millionaire Jason Plummer would be so flippant as to pretend he needs gas money. Inherited multi-millionaire Jason Plummer is running on a tax plan where he personally could profit another million in tax breaks. The last thing we need is one more career politician who doesn’t get us. Washington is broken – we don’t need multi-millionaire heir Jason Plummer personally profiting from the wreckage and doing nothing for workers or our middle class.”

* Related…

* Plummer announces three grassroot groups’ endorsement: National Right to Life, Gun Owners of America, and ABATE of Illinois have all chosen to endorse Plummer’s Congressional candidacy.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    Really hypocritical of Schilling. Especially due to the fact it was his son and wife that were pestering Hare back in 2010.


  2. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    I’m sure the Plummer folks were trying to be creative, but I don’t think asking for gas money was the way to go.

    Folks have to drive a lot down there and I imagine trying to keep the car going with gas prices pushing $4 a gallon is a real sore subject.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    “Dad! … I need that gas money!”

    “Use the computer I got you … ‘Google’ up some gas on ‘the Twitter’ …”

    “Dad, that takes too loooonnnng!”

    “Jason, I have paid enough for this …Use your ‘Sailor’ money’ ..”

    “Dad, that’s for more Power Rangers …I need gas to move my truck all around!!”

    “You want me to get your Mother?”

    It’s not fair … all the other Congress-runners get gas …”


  4. - East Sider - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:03 pm:

    “inherited multi-millionaire”? Aren’t his parents still alive?


  5. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:11 pm:

    First, was the flier issued by the Schilling campaign?

    Second, who established the no-video requirement? Organizers, Schilling, who?

    Third, who issued the instructions to the police officer, and was the tracker breaking Illinois law by filming a law enforcement officer while performing his duty (Did that stupid law get changed?)?

    Fourth, did the meeting fall under the Open Meetings Act? If not, there is no requirement to allow taping.

    So, while it may be a stupid decision to exclude cameras, I don’t see Schilling stomping on anyone’s First Amendment rights unless the Open Meetings Act is in effect.


  6. - Augustus - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    I’ve seen trackers following Cheri Bustos too. They are really aggressive. I guess they are trying to pull off the same thing they did to Hare all over again.


  7. - Just Observing - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:35 pm:

    === Fourth, did the meeting fall under the Open Meetings Act? If not, there is no requirement to allow taping.

    So, while it may be a stupid decision to exclude cameras, I don’t see Schilling stomping on anyone’s First Amendment rights unless the Open Meetings Act is in effect. ===

    The OMA alone does not dictate whether public meetings can be filmed or not — the OMA simply augments the U.S. Constitution. For example, one has the right to go and film an IDOT crew doing there jobs, but that’s not covered by the OMA.

    Overall, this seemingly was a public, educational meeting — not a private, political event — the cameraman seemingly had the right to film there. Police officers regularly trample on that right to film. What police department was this?


  8. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:37 pm:

    Maybe they were concerned about veterans asking questions to officials of a personal nature they need assistance with? Did that have to be taped? Yes it is a public forum of sorts, but folks show up and bare their souls at times.

    I’m no fan of trackers and yes, they are a necessary evil, but the no filming ban makes sense to me in this limited context.


  9. - Ahoy! - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    I think something should legally be done to stop these tracker issues. I’m not a fan of people video tapping someone without their permission to put online. I’m not apologetic for politicians, but this one I understand. These trackers are just as bad as the paparazzi and neither should be tolerated.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:48 pm:

    When Pressed, Plummer asked ME … Oswego Willy … over to talk …

    “You hungry … that’s a long trip from Oswego … MAAAA! Meatloaf! ….What is she doing back there … she is always back there …. MAAA! Meatloaf! Oswego Willy needs Meatloaf, MA … What is she doing …I never know what she’s doing ….”

    And ….Scene


  11. - Just Observing - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    === I think something should legally be done to stop these tracker issues. I’m not a fan of people video tapping someone without their permission to put online. ===

    Ahoy… I can understand if you find the practice distasteful, but a law prohibiting it is far more dangerous than allowing it. If politicians could outlaw people recording them, many would, because they don’t want things they say to be made public. But the citizenry is entitled to know and hear what their public officials say and think. Trackers are not going into private homes or events — these are public events, often paid for with taxpayer money.


  12. - Blue and true - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    Is the tracker a veteran? Why does he need to crash what should be an event focused on serving our heroes?

    This type of stuff, the “gotcha politics” … it’s really annoying and frankly makes a mockery of the democratic process.


  13. - dupage dan - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 2:24 pm:

    yeah, Blue, but a fact of life nonetheless.


  14. - Shemp - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 2:30 pm:

    The tracker was claiming it was a public building, but since when is the Chamber of Commerce’s facility a public building?

    Does a Rep meeting with veteran’s need to be taped for the public benefit? Do Vet’s want their conversations with the Rep recorded? The whole idea was for veterans to be able to speak to a rep and a VA representative about their issues. Is it so foreign to think these guys might want to speak freely and frankly to the VA and Representative without being recorded?

    Hardly a 1st Amendment violation or any other. Complete no-news news story being created here.


  15. - Shore - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    What we forget is that most people don’t follow politics closely enough to know what a tracker is and what the rules are and are not. This isn’t a congressional chief of staff pulling this.

    Plummer is basically dc consulting and talking points put together with his face and his father’s money, bravo to whatever person had the temerity to write that.


  16. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    There is no evidence that Schilling was deliberately stomping on someone’s rights. There are many unknowns regarding this story at this time. Accusing the Congressman of doing something like this, based on the flimsy evidence we have seen, is a stretch.


  17. - PublicServant - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 4:01 pm:

    I would have liked the tracker to stick to his guns, go in, record the event, and let the cop arrest him. He probably cound use the money from the lawsuit settlement.


  18. - Shemp - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 4:58 pm:

    How so PublicServant? A meeting in a private Chamber of Commerce building doesn’t require anyone to be allowed to record video. Perhaps you and the tracker need to review the 1st Amendment.


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